There are plenty of ways to drive your inbound marketing campaign straight into the ground. Yes, we're starting off this post a little on the negative side of things; hey it's Monday, we need our afternoon caffeine, and we promise to swing it back up to Hubspot-happy by the end, so humor us for now. Anyways, you could send spammy e-mails to unsuspecting bystanders, rip off other marketers' content, keyword stuff, and the list goes on. Above all else however, there is one thing that will absolutely doom your inbound marketing from the beginning: failing to create your buyer personas.
Hubspot has stated that every marketing action you make should be dictated by your buyer personas. You know how much we love Hubspot, (check out why here) and we think this statement is probably one of the smartest they've made. Why? Because valuable content is at the core of inbound marketing. One of the determining factors of its value will be how useful it is. If you don't know who your buyer personas are, then how are you going to produce content that is useful to them?
For those of you who aren't 100% familiar with this term yet, or even if you are, we'll quickly review what exactly defines a buyer persona. By definition, buyer personas are fictional characters who represent a brand's ideal customers. It's common for businesses to have more than one ideal customer, and for that customer to change depending on the growth or goals of the business. When developing these personas, you should consider factors such as:
- Problems or challenges in meeting those goals
- How your product or service can help them
- Reasons why they would object your product or service
- How you can overcome these objections and offer a useful solution
For example, if you're targeting a specific region, the language might change depending on the location. What if you're a sandwich shop trying to get more customers? Are you referring to your delicious product as a sub, hoagie, grinder, or hero? Even simpler than that, perhaps you own a bike shop. Do your customers typically refer to your product as a bike or bicycle? It's critical to figure out the language your customers are actually using and create content that incorporates it.
Without knowing who you're targeting, your inbound marketing campaigns are basically shots in the dark. Your e-mails will be marked as spam, your tweets won't be retweeted, and your blog posts won't be read. We're supposed to end this on a happy note, right? Well, we can all but guarantee if you take the time to develop these personas, your inbound marketing will drastically improve and you'll see real results.
Here's a quick Buyer Persona Development Worksheet if you need help getting started.